Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Social Networking Era Withing Us

I found Danah Boyd had some interesting information to share about the cyber transition many faced when switching from the social networking sight MySpace to the current day super giant of Facebook. Her article Implications of User Choice: The Cultural Logic of “MySpace orFacebook? presented many things that I didn’t think of.

            My town that I came from is called Westlake Village, a primarily upper class society. Everyone is pretty up to date with trends and there are no “Ghetto” people who went to my high school. Basically everyone had money and I cannot compare my life and say that ghetto people continued to use MySpace because I think I was one of the last to switch over to the big FB.

            But I wasn’t like the normal kids in my town; I didn’t keep up with trends, fashion, or really technology. I stick with what I am conferrable with until I find the need to upgrade of change. Like Boyd said some kids made the switch just because there was no one left who used MySpace, yep that was me. I never would have made the switch if no one else did. I don’t think that would classify me as a trend follower but I feel like it in a bit.

            After using FB for a while there are many differences from MySpace that I noticed. And the biggest was the creation of “The Wall” and “News Feed.” I am really surprised that Boyd didn’t include this in her paper. This made it much easier to see what people were doing and what they were up to rather than looking at each person’s individual profile.  But one thing I missed from MySpace was the ability to customize your profile. It brought individuality to the table although as a whole MySpace was much more commercialized. Facebook feels a little boring and plain at times with the constant white background and inability to modify your profile layout.

            For one reason or another people made the switch though, even MySpace founder Tom did so. He posted this on his FB fan page, “People seem very confused why I'm on Facebook. I've had a profile since 2005 and a "fan page" since 2009. FB just created a feature where you can "subscribe" to profiles. They asked me if I wanted to convert my "page" into a simpler profile. Complicated? I suppose. Why am I not on MySpace? Because, I left the company in early 2009, and like most of you, I don't like using it anymore.. not a fan of what the new folks have done with MySpace.” It seems as if the creator of the once dominant social networking sight has lost faith in his website. This cannot be good for the future of the site itself.

            What will the future have in store for us? Will Facebook continue to be the dominant social networking site or will something else take over? I think that Facebook is to powerful and will be in our lives for generations to come, but once again I thought that about MySpace….
There is something new form an already quite successful company, Google+. I just made an account to see what it is like. If there is some great power that can one day take down Facebook, I think that the new social networking of Google+ may have a shot. But I am no fortune teller and only the fate of Facebook will be revealed in the future.